Having a budget can be such an annoyance sometimes, right? But it forces us to be more creative and find alternative ways to do things. That’s not bad. In this post, we will deal with the branding budget, which seems to be expensive for many small businesses. So, let’s see how we can change that!
Have you ever scrolled through your feed until the end (not the end of feed but rather your free time!) and never stumbled upon a word brand? We sincerely doubt. It seems to be appearing everywhere these days. So, that overusing the word has lead to making fame around it, and sometimes higher prices than it should be. But building a brand doesn’t have to be expensive (if you don’t hire an expert).
There are many creative ways to effectively brand your business at a cheap rate or even for free. It does require some time though. And, also, when writing this post we are assuming you have basic marketing knowledge.
What it means – building a brand?
Building a brand is one of the most important things in your business development. That is how you will give your business a voice, uniqueness, value, and awareness. And we live in great times when plenty of tools and platforms are just a few clicks away. So, the conclusion is: you can do it by yourself.
When going on this adventure, the most important thing is to keep your customers in mind. Your messages should not only state your business’ mission but also be relatable to your audience.
#1 Develop identity and voice
What is the core of your business? What makes it what it is? The answers to these questions will be your brand identity, simply said. Your brand’s voice is the tone you will use in your posts, statements, and altogether communication online (and offline).
So, take a piece of paper and try to answer these 3 questions:
- What are your business’s values?
- What do these values represent?
- How do you want people to see you and talk about you?
When you answer these questions, start creating content that will be in line with your answers. Write emails, blog, social posts and create videos that will in every way support your mission. It doesn’t matter if you are starting from scratch or not (it’s never too late to improve), just stay consistent and the results will come.
#2 Establish your social media presence
Now, when you have a clear idea of what you want to serve to your audience, the next step is to be consistent and persistent. You will need to learn a little about your audience behavior – which social media platforms they prefer, at what time they are usually online, and what kind of content works better.
If you don’t know where to start to gather that information, it is always the best move to check your competition. Find out on which platforms do they post and how successful is it.
Then, you can check out how your audience interacts with the profiles you may already have. If something is not working, you can deactivate it. It is always a better solution than wasting your time and resources.
When you have an idea where to start appearing, adapt the principle we explained in the previous tip. Concentrate on a few networks where your audience is the most, and where you get the best engagement. We don’t suggest completely ignore other platforms, but it is better not to try to be everywhere because you will get lost very soon.
#3 Start a blog
(If you already didn’t.)
It was never more important to run a blog than nowadays. And we can’t repeat this enough times! It is a center and a crucial part of your overall online marketing. A blog is a thing that converts casual visitors into an audience.
Your blog will help you reach quality customers if you create content that matches your brand. That content will be what they are searching for, so you got the point?
You must create blog posts that are relevant to your audience because that is what they are looking for (otherwise they would not be your audience). Use that content to attract them, but also to spread the word about your social media. Blogging will definitely not have any effect on your budget, but it will take a big piece of your time. If you are struggling with time, you can always hire someone to ghostwrite posts for you. But that will affect your budget, though.
#4 Establish customer service
We can not even tell how important is to establish efficient customer service, from the very beginning of your branding. We’ve tried though, and you can read the post HERE.
Have you ever tried to reach some business’s customer service and in the end you were so annoyed that you gave up? It happens to me regularly. Just the other day, I tried to reach Amazon. They don’t have an email address for their customers, like most of the big brands don’t. On their website, they offer 4 options: “I forgot my password”, “my password isn’t working”, “I don’t have an Amazon account” and “I cannot create an account”. Which is basically two options – to recover your password or to create a new account. As my problem was that I couldn’t log in to my email connected to the account and I wanted to change it, none of this was helpful. So, I finally found a Twitter account named Amazon Help, and the person there (assuming it was a person) just kept sending me the link I just mentioned. After >20 messages and spinning in the same circle, I just accepted the fact that I will never get my account back, even I had some earnings on it and quit the conversation. It’s my fault that I lost my email password, right? They just don’t care…
It annoyed me as a customer. But also, as someone who runs a business, I was thinking I should never let that happen to my customers. It doesn’t mean I need to answer the phone in the middle of the night, or 24/7. It just means that I have a responsibility to my customers and business associates. So, I guess you also don’t want to leave that kind of impact on the people who are trying to reach you and solve a problem, and that is why you need to establish good customer service.
#5 Consider co-branding
If your budget is limited and you are just starting to build your brand you might want to consider co-branding. You still don’t have a reach that you would like and it takes time to build it. Until that point, you need to take some other steps to advance. One of the ways is to get a partner with someone who already has that reach with the audience that will be interested in your business too.
When you pick another brand for business, of course, you will not just randomly choose. You need to find one which is very similar to yours (and that means you will have the same audience also). Maybe it will help you to ask yourself a few questions before your decision:
- Could you reach this audience without partnering and how difficult it would be?
- Will their audience be interested in your brand?
- Will your audience be interested in their brand?
- What can you offer in return?
If you have something you can offer to them in return, this shouldn’t hit your budget too hard. But it will require a lot of strategy and logic, and also great negotiating skills.
#6 Create a class or webinar
This idea will not just help you to build your brand, but could also positively affect your budget if you decide to charge. But your primary goal should be to educate your audience and take advantage of this kind of promotion since it is rising in popularity every day.
This is an awesome way to grow your brand and collect leads, and it requires a little sense for this kind of work and a little bit more of your time and effort. But the results can be great! Turn your talents into a class or webinar and promote them online. If you optimize it well, you will find an audience easily.
We sincerely hope these tips on the branding on a budget helped you. If there are any other great ideas you have stumbled upon please let us know in the comments.